Tag Archives: kindness

The Power of Words: A Review of ‘Seeds and Trees’

The babble of some people is like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise is healing. – Proverbs 12:18

Reading/Interest Level

Grades 1-6 [Ages 6-12]

Review and Comments

Seeds of words spoken, some green and others black, are given to a young prince every day.  The green seeds are gentle while the black seeds contain only hostility and misery. The prince accepts both seeds and plants them all.  As the prince watches his trees grow he observes that all the trees are powerful but very different.  The green trees are life giving.  The black trees create such darkness that the green trees eventually suffer and become weakened right down to their roots.

The prince meets an extraordinary, sincere friend who only gives him green seeds.  She is wise and very brave in the face of the darkness of the forest.  The green trees seem to “come alive” when she is near, but the dark trees seem to amplify their negativity.  The prince’s new friend has a challenging solution for the tragedy of the weakening green trees.  He recognizes her insight and agrees to accept the challenge.  Using her old tools, she and the prince cut down one dark tree. Then, they carefully cut down more and more until not one dark tree or any fragment of a root is left.  Following his friend’s advice, the prince never plants dark seeds again.  He carefully watches over his grove of green trees and continues to plant the green seeds that produce “new life.”

Continue reading The Power of Words: A Review of ‘Seeds and Trees’

Home Sweet Home: A Review of ‘Make Way for Ducklings’

“……‘home’ must always be the loveliest spot in the world, no matter what fairer lands may lie under alien stars.”L.M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island

Reading Level:

Grades K-1 [according to common core]

3.1 [according to Scholastic – reflects the grade level at which  a student reads on grade could read the book independently]

Review and Comments:

Finding the perfect home is a challenging goal for Mr. and Mrs. Mallard.  They are looking for the ideal place to raise a family – a quiet neighborhood, close to the waterfront and places of interest, and a safe location. Their Boston area search continues until they settle on a cozy little island in the middle of a pond in the Public Garden.  Everything is going well until Mrs. Mallard determines the area is too dangerous so they extend their search. Of course being mallards they explore the area that encompasses the Charles River. Eventually they find a splendid location on a small quiet island on the river. They settle in and then spend some time touring the surrounding area. Along the way they meet a policeman named Michael who feeds them peanuts. Michael becomes their friend and a favorite stop on their daily stroll. Continue reading Home Sweet Home: A Review of ‘Make Way for Ducklings’

Daring in Adversity: A Review of ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’

“When you’re pinned against a wall, and you have no options except to overcome, you discover how strong you really are.” -Unknown

Reading Level:

Grades 4-5  [level according to common core)

Grade   4.9  [level according to Scholastic – reflects the grade level at which a student reading on grade could read the book independently]

Interest Level:

Grades 3-5

Review and Comments:

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl is a story about the sly and cunning Mr. Fox.  He must provide for his family so every night he considers the cuisine that three different farms can provide.   Farmer Boggis raises chickens, Farmer Bunce raises ducks and geese, and Farmer Bean raises turkeys and grows apples. This bounty always provides a tempting menu of delicious dinners. The farmers however do not look at Mr. Fox as a clever fellow.  They consider him a thief plain and simple.  They are determined to stop him at all costs so they form a coalition with one goal – to catch Mr. Fox and stop his thievery. Continue reading Daring in Adversity: A Review of ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’